Gametime has made an explosive impact on US sports ticketing having become a market leader in last-minute sales since its foundation in 2013.
The San Francisco-based company, whose user base consists of approximately 70 per cent millennials, last week illustrated its mobile app’s growing reach in the vast US market when it announced the signing of partnerships with 14 major league teams, including the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic and the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars.
Here, The Ticketing Business speaks to Larry Martin (pictured), the company’s senior vice-president of business development, about the deals and why millennials are choosing the Gametime app instead of traditional ticket-purchasing platforms.
TTB: Could you explain the significance of the partnerships for both Gametime and the teams themselves?
Larry Martin: The partnerships represent how the industry is empowering and enabling a more open inventory distribution strategy to reach new audiences via new platforms.
TTB: Gametime has described each of the 14 partnerships as “unique in structure”. Could you explain the different types of deal and why these different solutions made sense for different teams?
LM: We can’t go into much greater detail of the deal structures, but the uniqueness of each lies in how teams have different objectives and priorities when it comes to inventory distribution strategy. Some are focused on tapping into our mobile experience, others want to capitalise on last-minute purchases and many are seeking ways to capture younger audiences and build a relationship with them.
TTB: Gametime’s popularity among millennials is startling. What is the key to its success with young people, and how can other ticket operators and rights holders such as sports teams more successfully engage with this generation in their sales?
LM: The millennial generation is now the largest demographic of consumers in the US. Gametime set out to build a product that catered to a spontaneous and on-demand type of consumer, which largely defines your average millennial customer. They are attracted to great value and experiences and have quickly grown accustomed to having those options at their fingertips.
The visual and value aspects of the Gametime app coupled with ability to easily share tickets in a tap has catered to their needs more than other ticket marketplaces. Naturally, millennials are early tech adopters and have been highly responsive to the marketing channels we’ve used with various social media platforms.
Millennials are driven by social experiences and for some sporting events, that doesn’t necessarily mean being closer to the action, its merely being “there”. Creating value-oriented tickets for millennials to be present in affordable standing areas that offer easy access to conversation has shown great popularity.
TTB: What does Gametime hope to achieve over the course of the next few months as the major sports league seasons are played out?
LM: We hope to establish more case studies around how inventory suppliers can best utilise Gametime to further existing inventory and revenue management strategies.
Gametime has positioned itself to serve a special group of fans who prefer to shop last minute and on the go. The ability to watch the market in real time with only the very best prices presented and almost never having to print a physical ticket has spawned millions of fans to download the app.
As comfort with mobile commerce permeates older generations, Gametime is well positioned to offer the best ticket buying experience to all ages. The trend driven by millennials will become the norm in ensuing years.